Day 5 continued.
After a quick and efficient check in, we were bound for Da Nang airport where we got promptly deposited after an hour and a half uneventful flight. The only form of amusement being a well dressed (for a prostitute) well groomed young Asian ‘lady’ with proportions defying gravity. K stared agape at the adjacent sex goddess resplendent in her gold lyrex threaded black mini sheath that glided easily over her magnificently surgically enhanced bust down to her knees, topped off with killer high heels. I managed to capture her on video on our departure.
The tour company delivered and our man ‘Ken’ took us on a pre conceived detour to Marble Mountain where we typically/dutifully purchased our souvenirs. (nice Buddha head).
Back on track through a ‘Bosnia’ type village we entered the sanctuary of Life Resort Hotel which took me straight back to the Club Med Cherating style. Like kids in a candy store we acclimatised ourselves in thirty seconds to our outstanding new accommodation for the next three days.
We ran straight to the pool conveniently located outside our door and set up camp on the sun loungers after ordering a sumptuous snack of prawn and mango salad and matching ginger/grey goose cocktails. Mentally and physically high fiving ourselves and blessing the day Mrs Sinclair gave birth to our travel agent we sighed in utter peace and contentment. K slumped into an uncharacteristic bout of inertia while we dozed, ate drank and swam for the next hour.
Keen to stick to plan we then took resort supplied cycles and pedalled into town in search of the recommended tailoring shops to order our custom fitting suits. We navigated the bumpy less manic than Saigon streets, but manic all the same until we came upon our desired destination. Every second shop was a tailor and competition was fierce. A scooter pulled up beside me and tried to insist I visit her shop. As a tourist we are fair game and my skin slowly thickened as I endeavoured to rebuff them.
Once inside “Yali” tailors we roamed the spacious surroundings abuzz with activity confused and spoilt for choice. Around three hours later we departed, orders taken with promises of further fittings at 11am the following day.
Darkness had fallen and our appetites had risen so we headed back to the hotel and partook of the BBQ dinner on offer and a couple of bubbles before retiring to bed at 8pm! Big day out.
7/9 Monday. Father’s Day in some countries, but not here. Body clocks slightly askew, we woke at 4.30am and decided to hold out till 6am before demanding to take the cycles out again. We read, drank tea and wiled away the hour and a half. The rain had bucketed down on and off and was on when we decided to do a quick reccy to find the nearby beach.
Straight out of bed we baptised the plastic rain coats in the downpour and cycled the four kms out of the city. Through active villages at 7am we compared our NZ options of riding short bays in the frost and revelled in our balmy albeit wet experience. It was one speed (slow) but with plenty to gawp at. Weaving around large puddles, scooters, locals, cars and trucks with little regard for pausing or giving way we found our ‘Çhina Beach’.
Like Mooloolaba beach but more deserted, with tepid waters we ditched our outer protection and entered the waves. The rip and potential attack of foreign sea creatures kept our experience short but satisfying.
Sodden but successful we cycled back into town only losing our way once and headed for the showers then a well anticipated hotel breakfast. Systematically making my way through all there was on offer we grazed continually for around an hour. As a good twelve hours had passed since my last meal I ate in an effort to assuage the large hole in my stomach. Two plates of fruit, (mango/passion fruit/pomelo) bacon and two poached eggs on toast, beef noodle soup and finally a crepe with fried banana with syrup and cinnamon to quell the appetite giant.
K had fallen in love with a book she had picked up from the resort and was keen to finish it so we made our spa booking for the next day and returned/waddled to our room to digest.
After a heavy session of digesting we checked the time and worked out we were thirty minutes late for our fitting appointment at the tailors.
We rapidly regrouped and set out for Yali. Apparently there is more than one so we spent another twenty minutes circling all three shops. Apologies given and received we were then herded into the air conditioned’ changing rooms where we stood motionless in an effort to keep the sweat rivulets stationary while they pinned, tucked and discussed the current global crisis. We made another appointment to return at four for a further fitting and scurried from the premise.
*In our haste to meet our appointment we ran headlong through the central local market dodging scooters in the one lane aisle while amazed at the array of goods on show.
With the worms biting, it was time for me to lead the way to a suitable pit stop. As I let my nasal passage do the walking my radar settled on a quaint but chic roadside cafe with appropriately arranged cane chairs and table settings set up begging for tenancy. We obliged and ordered two long island teas and freshly made spring rolls (not on the menu). The food, ‘tea’ and kerbside viewing were outstanding so we stayed for another round. By this time K was well and truly ‘stitched up’ and as cartographer our hopes of returning to Yali in time for our 4pm fitting were fading.
Back to the hustle of Yali and further frantic rearrangements we were then sent packing again to return in another forty minutes. Fortuitously enough time to trip and fall into an incongruously chic made to measure leather fashion shoe shop. I tried on three pairs and ordered one pair in another colour (to match my new tailored suit) that would be ready for pickup at 5 tomorrow. Got to love the speed of this town.
Back to the blessed tailors for a final fitting via bikes from our nearby hotel we arrived, dripping wet after pedalling through the dusk and torrential downpour. I mentally congratulated myself for hand picking such a worthy travelling companion in K as she battled ahead euphoric in the near national disaster conditions. Final try-ons and checking; the tailors are fastidious but their attention to detail and instruction leave a little to be desired. Fighting off previous urges to lash out at them in a bid to maintain local non aggressive custom, I repeated and gesticulated until the ‘penny/dong dropped’. We paid, arranged hotel delivery of the Empresses new suits and set off on our bikes and soaking blue raincoats in search of a suitable dinner destination.
Pedalling peacefully through the darkened streets we stopped at another kerbside restaurant that seemed half full with locals and tourists alike. Bikes parked, we were seated near the street whereupon we quickly ordered two Black Russians that came out in Martini glasses less the coke! We also ordered two dishes off the surprisingly extensive menu. Pork stuffed whole baby squid and a hotpot of seafood delights later we sat back well sated and ready for an early night...again!
All this yahooing sure takes it out of a girl. K keen to ‘knock the bastard off’ her book that is, we returned to the hotel. I showered and did my three sets of press ups (because I could) then read a little chapter and nodded off. Another big day out.